HPV has become one of the most talked about topics in our practice today. Our patients look bewildered, confused and concerned when they hear “Your HPV testing was positive”. The purpose of writing this is to help you better understand the significance of HPV and the testing to determine the presence of HPV.
What is HPV? Do I have it?
HPV stands for Human Papilloma Virus. Studies show that sexually active people have a greater than 75% chance of being exposed to one or more strains (types) of the HPV virus during their lifetime. There are thought to be more than 100 different strains of the HPV virus. The different strains are like different members of a family; each having its individual personality. Certain HPV strains more commonly cause pre-cancerous changes on the cervix; they are usually referred to as the “high risk strains” (these are typically types 16 and 18). Other strains are associated with genital warts and usually do not cause the pre-cancerous changes.